Pineda has been spectacular this season, his first at the Major League level. Over 25 starts, Pineda has compiled a record of 9-8 with a 3.71 ERA.
Prior to 2011, Pineda had spent the last 5 years in the Minors for the Mariners after singing out of the Dominican as a teenager. Pineda climbed the ranks and began last season pitching at the Double-A level.
Pineda maintained an impressive 2.22 ERA over 13 starts, ultimately earning a promotion to Triple-A. Between the two levels last year, Pineda combined to log 139.1 innings at an ERA of 3.36. The 21 year old struck out 154 batters and held a WHIP of 1.112 over that span.
His impressive performance certainly got the Mariners’ attention, and Pineda came on strong this season to win a spot in the M’s rotation out of Spring Training.
Seattle knows what it has in Pineda’s young and valuable arm, and said all along they would monitor his workload through the season.
Combining with Felix Hernandez to give the Mariners a solid 1-2 punch, Pineda excelled in 2011. His elite performance has him considered one of the favorites to win this year’s American League Rookie of the Year Award.
Pineda’s made quite the case for himself. While he’s currently trailing Jeremy Hellickson, another AL ROY contender, in ERA, Pineda dominates the Rays starter in several other categories.
Both have logged just over 150 innings, but Pineda has struck out 50 more batters. Hellickson has a higher walk rate and allows more HR/9, and Pineda’s FIPx (3.50) is more than a full run lower than Hellickson’s (4.53).
Taking all of that into consideration, it’s no wonder Pineda’s WAR (2.9) is nearly double that of Hellickson’s (1.5).
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